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5 Alpha Male Traits That Will Bring Back Manliness

5 Alpha Male Traits That Will Bring Back Manliness

The art of manliness is becoming lost in today’s politically correct society. These 5 alpha male traits can help bring it back.


Last weekend, as the day was about to begin, I did something uncharacteristic; I flicked on the TV to see what was on. Keep in mind, I had an entire day of work ahead of me. As I surfed through the channels, of which there are far too many, I stumbled upon the John Wayne movie, The Cowboys. I love John Wayne movies, so rather than being a responsible lad, I sat me arse on the couch and started watching.

Without ruining anything, because it is an awesome movie that every guy should watch, there’s a point in the film that stands out as an especially old school and masculine moment. It’s also something that wouldn’t happen in today’s weak, self-entitled and politically correct society.

One of the young teenage boys that Wayne’s character had to hire for his cattle drive had a stutter. As they’re crossing a river near the beginning of their long journey, one of the other boys falls off his horse and into the water, nearly drowning. Wayne’s character lays into the kid with the stutter, saying something like, “if you wanted to stop stuttering you would! That boy could have drowned because of you.”

What you begin to realize is that Wayne’s character isn’t making fun of the boy, nor is he being unjustly hard on him. It only becomes apparent in the boy’s response as he yells, “you mean son of a bitch!” repeatedly at the elder, bigger, stronger man. What you notice is that in this fit of anger, the boy isn’t stuttering.

Wayne yells at him, “What did you say?!” again and again until the boy realizes that he’s broken through his stutter.

That wouldn’t happen today. In today’s society we’d cuddle the kid, treat him different than any of the other boys because he has a special difficulty. In the old days, though, men realized the simple fact that the world is unforgiving. It’s a cold and hard place. And to comfort a boy, no matter his difficulty, is to weaken him, and hinder him even further in the future.

Whether you’d care to admit it or not, there’s a war being waged against the strong, masculine values that have for centuries made great men, great.

As we become more politically correct, as we pander and aim to comfort, rather than helping and aiming to strengthen, we weaken not only our men, but our society on the whole. It needs to stop. If you want to be a strong, successful, good man, this article will lay out the principles you need to be at your best throughout the highs and lows that inevitably make up life.

5 Alpha Male Traits That Will Bring Back Manliness

1. Don’t aim for ease.

Theodore Roosevelt, a classic alpha male archetype, promoted the “strenuous life”. He saw ease, not only as unproductive, but evil. Nothing good comes from ease, yet it’s the ‘be all end all’ in modern society.

We work to vacation. We hustle to buy things. We have it backwards. The freedom is in the work. It’s in the grind, the journey, and the hustle. It’s in living the strenuous life that you grow and better your fellow man.

And so, as your pal’s take selfies of themselves on vacation, work. Put more strain on your life because you understand that it’s in the struggle that you become tougher and stronger and more manly.

2. See the world as it is, and make the best of it.

It’s weakness to treat the world as something that it isn’t. John Wayne’s character in that movie understood that if he treated the boy any differently than he would treat a man, he’d weaken him. He’d give him an excuse to fail in the future.

See the world as it is, and make the absolute best of it you possibly can. Know the hard work that happiness and success require of you. Ground yourself in honorable principles, and keep moving forward even when quitting is all you can think about.

Robert E. Lee is a great man to study who has this quality. No matter how dark the present was, he made the best of it.

3. Never complain or offer an excuse.

A man can’t complain, nor can he shift blame to another. A man stands up and places the blame square on his broad shoulders, never on another’s. He faces the music time and time again, even if it’s not entirely his fault, he finds a way to make it his fault because he’s the only one strong enough to carry the burden.

And again, a man never complains. That’s the definition of weakness. To complain is to give the power over your life to another. It’s to relinquish the control you have over your destiny and over your life.

Pay attention to your thoughts. As soon as you start complaining, stop. Understand that it does no good, only bad, and keep moving forward.

4. Never quit.

Studies continually show that success isn’t a matter of talent, but persistence. It’s the companies that outlast the others, that reach “their place in the sun.” The same is true for men.

If you want to live a great life, you can’t ever quit. You can’t ever admit that you’re done, because you’re not. So long as you’re breathing you’ll take on any battle, any enemy, and any obstacle. Persistence and assertiveness are very masculine qualities, they’re also rarely practiced today.

While your friends quit, keep working. Sure, you can adjust your tactics, you can pull out of a useless battle, but you never relent on the overall war.

5. Never pity someone.

A real man isn’t soft. He cares. He’s kind. But you could never call him weak. Be real with people. Lift them up. Never, ever pity them. Don’t feel bad for them, and if you do, show them how to rise above their situation.

People don’t want pity; they want progress. They don’t truly want a hand out; they want a hand.

Be a leader in your tribe and your community. Lead, of course, by example. Don’t shoot your mouth off at every opportunity. Make your words few, but strong, and your actions abundant, and grand.

This is the way of the man. This, my friend, is the way of the warrior. Keep fighting.


chris walker Chad is a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live the big, ambitious life you should be living, and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • AgeUke

    I generally like the articles on here but you have taken a very selective view of ‘being a man’ inspired by a fictional character in a film and presented it as a model to manliness. I am frankly astonished that you seem to suggest comforting a child with a speech impediment as a weakness favouring the world is pain model and perhaps just crossing your fingers and hoping they get over it.
    While I agree we live in a world where increasingly being offending is becoming something that can be remedied legally, the use of the pejorative ‘political correctness’ includes a whole raft of things that are wholly positive to all but the most unreconstructed.
    What you describe as ideal ‘man’ traits are in fact universal to all without harking back to a golden age of strong silent types.

    • Michael Matthews

      I totally understand where you’re coming from and thought that while Chad’s example is a bit extreme, I liked the overall message.

    • Hey man, I hear where you’re coming from. And you make some great points! That scene stuck with me. I was taken aback by it, and I realized that it would never happen today. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the lack of “masculine” values in our society, in the MEN in our society isn’t really something that’s up for debate. We are, by in large, weakening, as men. Women are doing an awesome job, but men have kind of lost themselves.

      There’s a widening call to bring back those values like honor, strength, courage, and toughness and instill them, once again, in our men. Not everyone thinks its necessary. But I do. And that’s why I wrote an article on it.

  • Nick

    Life is about being, discovering and improving yourself not mimicking others. The article and points aren’t all that bad but the John Wayne analogy and title are a bit ridiculous. I agree with AgeUke.

    • Agreed. I don’t think it’s about mimicking others at all. That analogy, though it may seem ridiculous – I’m at fault for that if I didn’t explain it well enough – just parallels the old way of doing things with the new.

      The reader chooses what’s better. I just put the comparison out there and you can, by all means, decide on your own.

  • Claudio Paraiso Bizzotto

    I couldn’t help but share my thoughts on this one.

    1. “Nothing good comes from ease.” Nothing good comes from struggling. I don’t struggle when I go to the gym. Do you?

    2. “See the world as it is […]” You’re not seeing the world as it is. You see the world in a very particular way and you want to prove to yourself (and others) that your point-of-view matches reality.

    3. “Pay attention to your thoughts. As soon as you start complaining, stop. Understand that it does no good, only bad […]” This is good advice, but the reasoning behind it is awful: “To complain is to give the power over your life to another.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not competing with anyone over my life.

    4. “Persistence and assertiveness are very masculine qualities.” Those are feminine, canine, bovine etc qualities too…

    5. “People don’t want pity; they want progress.” People don’t want progress. They think they do, but what they want is love.

    This article doesn’t belong here, Mike. Do you know why wannabe alpha dudes (they’re all wannabe, as a matter of fact) are so ranting about modern times? Because they know fewer and fewer people buy them. Most of us today know what’s behind this type of character: competition, specialism, anguish, anger, fear.

    Nothing against you Chad, really. I just hope you abandon this wrong idea of “manliness”: instead of trying to be a “male”, what about trying to be happy?

    • Hey Claudio, I’ll cover your questions here:

      1. “Nothing good comes from ease.” Nothing good comes from struggling. I don’t struggle when I go to the gym. Do you?

      Answer: actually, you do. The only way to build muscle is to first break it down. The only way to burn fat is to put your body through some pain. The gym is the perfect metaphor for life. It’s through your struggling that you succeed.

      2. “See the world as it is […]” You’re not seeing the world as it is. You see the world in a very particular way and you want to prove to yourself (and others) that your point-of-view matches reality.

      Answer: Fair enough. The point I was making is to NOT wish you were someone else, or SOMEWHERE else. You are where you are for a reason, now make the best of it.

      3. “Pay attention to your thoughts. As soon as you start complaining, stop. Understand that it does no good, only bad […]” This is good advice, but the reasoning behind it is awful: “To complain is to give the power over your life to another.” I don’t know about you, but I’m not competing with anyone over my life.

      Answer: That’s not the point, maybe I just explained it wrong, in which case, my apologies. The point is that the act of complaining or wishing you were somewhere else does no good for anyone, especially yourself. Rather than complaining, work. Rather than complaining, realize how good your life is, and enjoy it.

      4. “Persistence and assertiveness are very masculine qualities.” Those are feminine, canine, bovine etc qualities too…

      Answer: Agreed. I didn’t say they weren’t. I just said that they were masculine qualities. You can make your own assumptions from that. But the focus of the article was men. Alas, I called them masculine qualities.

      5. “People don’t want pity; they want progress.” People don’t want progress. They think they do, but what they want is love.

      Answer: Agreed. They want love, but they also want to be able to pull THEMSELVES up. They want to know that they have that power. If they’re constantly being lifted, they may appreciate it, but they feel powerless. You see what I’m saying? You’re correct, and I think one of the ways you give that love is by helping that person, teaching that person how to lift them self up.

      • Claudio Paraiso Bizzotto

        No need for apologies at all, Chad! Good to see you took the time to answer and clarify the subject theme – it shows you care about people.

      • Joneiric

        Competence, autonomy, and relatedness (love) are what people want and need. There’s a relatively new body of research on this bundled as “self-determination theory.”

        • Michael Matthews

          You’re the second person that has recommended this to me. I’ll have to check it out.

  • Dan Strohschein

    I know several people in my life that are the complete opposite of the qualities described here, and I see them fail at life again and again. I can probably sum up the article with the following “Man Up”.

    1. The world is rough, life is hard and unfair. Accept that and deal appropriately.
    2. Don’t be a baby – Man Up (no matter what your gender) and find a solution to the problem. Giving up, whining, crying, complaining will not make the problem go away. Why? See #1
    3. If you want something, work for it. Don’t expect it to be handed to you – the more things you want, the more you need to work to get them.
    4. Have a goal and work towards it. If you give up, then you will definitely NOT get it. If you fail at it, learn from the failure and try again, try better, try harder.

    This is how I have lived my life, and I am very successful and happy. So are others I know how follow the same mantras.

    This isn’t about being manly. It’s about GROWING UP.

    • Great points Dan! And I agree, this isn’t merely about being “manly”, I just talk to the fellas in my articles because that’s the majority of my own audience. All of these things apply to women as well.

      Grow up, Man up. I like it.

    • JoeyJax

      Great summary Dan. Concise and well put. Society as a whole definitely needs to Man-Up & stop acting entitled. If you want something, work hard for it. Amen.

  • Tim

    I agree with the general sentiment here, that I would describe as an increasingly feminised world. However, as I have a son who struggled with a stutter for a few years I find that part of the article distasteful. Hopefully that last sentence doesn’t make me less manly.

    • Interesting perspective Tim. Thanks for that. I think that aspect of the article was taken in the wrong context. All I wanted to do was highlight the attitude of the past, and compare it to ours today.

      They dealt with things in a much tougher manner in Wayne’s time, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t care about the kids. They just understood that the world isn’t going to coddle them, and that’s something that they have to be prepared for.

  • Jake

    I agree. We have lost our way as Men. I’ve been in the military for 9 short years, and in that time I’ve seen standards slacken, soldiers coddled, and as a result a lot of our young Joes are what I think of as welfare soldiers. ” why haven’t I been promoted yet”, ” why do I have to try, I’ve already proved myself once”, ” I deserve to be a sergeant because I’ve been in for a while”. Give me give me. Few take a no excuse approach, less push their peers to reach new heights. Instead, we coddle the child with a stutter instead of showing him that he can accomplish more than we thought possible. We need more son’s o bitches like the Duke.

    • Well said! It’s interesting to hear that viewpoint from a military man, and in that context. That’s interesting man. We are being coddled far too much today. We’re not shown the ways of the world until we’re thrust into it and we don’t know how to fend for ourselves.

      We’re too self-entitled. And it’s a big problem.

  • Donald

    I really appreciate 3 and 4. They are the true mark of a real man (or real woman). Today’s society absolutely lacks accountability. It is so easy to pass blame onto others. Complaining gives you something to do, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere. To quit is to fail. If people are really honest with themselves, they know where the real blame should be laid, but most are not man enough to place it on themselves.

  • Kevin

    Great article Chad. 5 good rules to live by. (At the very least).

    The Art of Manliness is a great website I’m sure you are familiar with!

    Mike, love similar “life” articles as of late. Never hurts to diversify the portfolio. Thanks.

    • Thanks Kevin. AoM is a greta site. I’ve done some writing for them in the past. Check out the boxing stuff I did for them – instructional videos etc…

  • Victor P

    Chad, you rock man! Excellent article, the message was totally on point. I wholeheartedly agree. We have become a sissified society. I would like to point out one salient fact, however. I have a nephew who stutters mildly. He is one of the most enterprising, strong minded, good-hearted, independent and self-sufficient individuals I have ever known. He’s toured the world as part of a band, and he is now a certified personal trainer – fit as a fiddle. Very personable guy, and all at 24 years old. He’s the kind of son whose parents never have to worry about him, because they know if anybody’s going to make it, it’s going to be Christian. As you can tell, I’m proud of him.

    To make a long story short, you gotta be a little careful about perceptions of what constitutes manliness and strength. I know you know that…. just adding to the conversation.

    Thank you for your article and keep up the good work!

  • JMP

    Excellent Article! I appreciate your authentic and genuine points of view Mike.

    Someone needs to point out the downside of political correctness. It truly does seem to defy nature and “survival of the fittest”

    On a side note, I was surprised earlier this month when I spoke to a colleague who pointed out that over the last 100 years or so the water has become contaminated with small amounts of endocrine disruptors, mainly due to the proliferation of birth control pills.

    He claims, that these estrogenic compounds have actually led to a sort of “chemical castration” of male society and that today’s male actually has lower levels of Testosterone than males from even John Wayne’s era (After all we are ca. 70% H2O so small amounts of estrogen over a lifetime add up.)

    If this is true, he claims that it also explains this overemphasis of “feeling” and PC in society. He say’s the days of real men are behind us and that a new era of man boobs, obesity, and men behaving like females is more of what’s to come. Do you know if there is any truth to this conjecture? It seems somewhat valid, but I didn’t know if you knew of any studies. My friend said that he knows of research papers where they have seen an increase in the number of hermaphrodites in nature as a result of the pollution to the water.

    • Michael Matthews

      We are definitely exposed to a LOT of estrogen-mimicking compounds through plastics, cookware, public water, and even clothing.

      • phoenix

        Solution purify your own water and kill your own food, make your own clothes lol ( joking of course ).

        • Michael Matthews

          Haha 😉

  • John

    So I take it you don’t go in for ‘bromances’ 🙂

    • Michael Matthews


  • ClubWolf

    Hi Mike,

    This is a really random question about potential suitors in women. Basically, how do you know if x amount of years down the line a woman is not going to ‘let her self go’ physically? Like, she may look a peach now but once she gets secure in a relationship with you, one cookie becomes 3, medium fries no longer does it for her, and boom you’re with a fatty! Would you say someone who clearly takes care of their appearance now is a safe bet for the future?

    • phoenix

      The future is always uncertain my friend.

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  • Idea

    This article is quite repugnant actually. While I agree that manhood has lost it’s way in recent years, this article is the example of what we don’t want to see in your up and coming young men.

  • Sujay

    How to increase weight??

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  • shreejay

    hi shreejay here.. want to more manliness by personality, sex, thoughts..

  • Wooof

    I’m a woman dating a man who is 12 years older than I. Overall, he is an amazing man. He is charming, sweet, and a man’s man. However, at times, he becomes nervous around me and is “too nice”. How do I awaken his inner alpha male? How do I let him know it’s okay to give me a hot, steamy kiss because I know he wants to?

  • John

    Sup with the Chad testosterone boost ad? We know via your podcasts that even supplements can boost T levels like an insignificant 10% (which you’ve noted does absolutely nothing), so why put an ad for T level boosts through diets??? Idk… you say you only back products/services you believe in, and you don’t believe in that O_O

  • Magdiel

    This is a great article. I see that nowadays men are too effeminate, which is a big disgrace. Men ran the world for thousands of years, and we survived, but now with the politically correctness trends, we are facing disaster. Men and women have the same value before God, we are both human beings BUT WITH DIFFERENT ROLES! Problem is that todays’s technology has broken the barrier that used to divide them. Machines do everything for us now. Man’s strength is bearly needed. Even in war. In ancient times men had to be like lions to be able to fight, yep, it was hand to hand fighting most of the time, and softies did not have a chance. Just google the Trajan’s column and you will see depicted there real life ancient warfare scenes. Dicide by yourself if those men sculptured there don’t look like manly men. Compare their postures and manners with those of modern men and you will see a striking difference. There is a lack of testosterone and manliness in todays world, mainly Europe and the US, and it should frighten every one. When technology fails, who will rise up to power? When the barbarians take that opportunity to invade, who will stand up to them? Is it possible for a modern day Leonidas to arise? Think about it! God blesss!

  • Timotheus Seanum

    Lol, this article is a joke. So, that’s how you fix studdering…….grab your balls boy and man up? Seriously Chad? You are a fucking dumbass.<—— that last thing is called a period…..as in end of sentence, not to be confused with what you experience each month. Holy shit, this article is funny! Obviously, Chadwick hasn't travelled outside the U.S. If he had, he'd see what a weak minded, simpleton he is. To the guy whos son had a studder let me say on behalf of the rest of America, I apologize for Chad's thoughtless remarks. While he may think he's an alpha male, the rest of us think he's an alpha douche bag. Again to all of the silent readers out there, who don't like to make a fuss, I apologize for this absolutely idiotic, stupidly moronic, brain dead crap load of worthless time wasting garbage. Go home Chad, let the adults talk. Oh, and tray not dragging your knuckles on the way. Fucking jackass. Warm regards, -Tim

    p.s. I highly recommend Mathew's book, Bigger Leaner Stornger. Unlike this abortion of an article, It's well written and quite informative. One question though, as John pointed out, why the advertisement for bullshit testosterone at the bottom of this "article?"

  • Phoebe

    Great article. I miss those type of guys in this world. Where are the John Wayne’s, the Humphrey Bogart’s, the Robert Mitchum’s? Men today don’t stand up for women any more for fear of being beaten down. I am glad to see a turnaround of behaviors among men.(This is coming from a woman)

  • Gg Tran

    Mr. Matthews,

    I have deep respect for you and this website. You have provided myriad information that helps many people, especially in an industry where there are so many myths and misinformation.

    However, I am deeply disappointed that you endorse this kind of article. There is so many thing that goes wrong with this article that I do not even know where to start. I understand that the writer, Chad, has good intention when writing this out. However, his promoting of “ bringing back masculinity” (in actual, the accurate way to call this is “bringing back retrosexuality”) is extremely erroneous. Masculinity is made up by our society, not by nature; therefore different culture has different notions about what constitute masculinity. I have no idea why you are associating “alpha male traits”, which is a concept belonging to the animal kingdom, with “manliness” – which is again, a concept made up by us silly human.

    First off, I am a psychology major, specializing in Evolutionary Psychology. I have sat through enough Biology and Animal Behavior class to know enough about Evolution. Within the animal kingdom, an individual “fitness” is measured by his/her reproductive success – meaning how much offspring they can pop out, so that their gene is passed onto the next generation. Yet so many people mistakenly assume that “fitness” here means being the strongest/fastest/smartest etc While in reality, this whole “fitness” is ultimately about reproduction. Hence, the alpha animals have sets of behavior that will maximize their ability to reproduce: for example, in a pack, the alpha male monopolizes all the fertile females, and fight off any other males that want to copulate with the females, so that the majority of offsprings produced in that pack shall be its.

    This brings me to my criticism for the author: Chad, you are promoting these “Alpha male traits” to “bring back manliness”. On what basis are you defining “alpha male traits”, since the “alpha male traits” of the animal kingdom revolve primarily around mating with females and fighting off other males?

    Honestly, if I were to dissect this whole article and make counter-argument for every point which this article makes, I could make a whole dissertation. You are free to define “masculinity” in your own terms, but please, do not attempt to preach to people your personal opinions on complex and sensitive subject like masculinity.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I appreciate it, but honestly don’t see how an article like this causes any real harm to anyone…

      • Gg

        It promotes toxic masculinity, both directly and indirectly.

        I understand that the writer has very good intention when writing the article. However, the content of the article turns out to be misleading.

    • “Masculinity is made up by our society, not by nature..”

      This is mostly incorrect. There are certainly aspects of masculinity that are “socially constructed”, but the core traits are biological. These core traits are what has enabled men to build thriving civilizations since the dawn of time.

      • Gg

        Please kindly list out the “core traits” of masculinity that do not involve:

        1. Aggression
        2. Dominance
        3. Sex with female

        Also please kindly include citations for any of your claim.

        • Hi ideologue…the tone of your message says so much about you!

          Here’s an idea. How about you go bury your head in the sand and pretend that biology plays no role in human development. Keep telling yourself that there is no difference between the “socially constructed” sexes – oh I’m sorry, “genders”.

          Bye bye now!

          • Gg

            “I have sat through enough Biology and Animal Behavior class to know enough about Evolution.”


            Okay, I guess I know nothing about biological basis of human behaviors then. I will now keep my mouth shut.

  • I think the article is great. I think it is greatly at odds with the corrupted worldview of some of the critics.

    BTW, I appreciate all the study and effort you put into your Bigger book which I bought. Didn’t expect the psychology section which I found fascinating even after having read tons of self help books. If you know what dopamine is doing to you and when you can take control.


    I don’t know WFT is up some of these commenters asses. This stuff is only intended to help. Don’t like manliness? Buy a skirt!

    • Thanks for the support man! I appreciate the kind words 🙂

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